SD 02/08/03 - "Cusine Critics" aka "Welcome to our Planet, Now Go Home!" #4 - When I get back to the Freedom, I'm going to Ten-Forward for a nice thick steak and a double-chocolate sundae for desert.

After I file a complaint concerning their dietary laws and the enforcment thereof.

Following the funeral, we walked off the pier and to a bus station, as the transportation that got us here had left. We saw more of the locals there, drab clothes, no smiles, and most were shorter than average. Some looked at those of us still in our uniforms and gave us sour looks. One local stood out, not a human or near-human, but covered with a shaggy coat of fur. At first I wondered if this was an odd-looking Caitian, but as I got closer, it became more obvious it wasn't. This was an Antican, whose clothes were once as gaudy as S'Varr's, but were faded. He was noticably thin, unlike every other one I've seen pictures of.

We noticed he was eating something, and Lott found it was a dead rat. Her announcment startled the Antican, and someone went to a public comm. Less than a minute later, a black van showed up, and the Antican ran. The van cut him off, cops in local "Spaceball" armor stormed out, and they did a number on him before throwing him in and speeding off. One talked about a "Code 57-H." I looked it up using my datapad. It's a law against the killing of animals for meat, a felony here.

I doubt the government here would listen to my complaints, so I just took a picture and made a few notes for a later report. With luck, this guy will be out of the slammer soon.

The bus arrived after the boys in black left. Getting on, we found it was even worse than the vans we rode it. Crowded too. At least Brundel with those hands of his was able to quite literally go above it all. One thing though, one woman shouted "Harrasser!" when some local man accidentally bumped into her, and every guy close to her immedietly tried to get away, resulting in even more shoves and elbow jabs.

What is it about that scene that still makes me so nervous?

The next stop was the area where S'Var told us that restaraunt he heard about was located. We got off, minus Lott and Brundle who remained on the bus, and went over. Regretably, "Cannery Row" was about as run down as much of the rest of the city, with some restaraunts and all but one stores closed. S'Varr's restaraunt looked like it had once been grand, but the chipped paint and vandalized statues told us it wasn't what it used to be.

We had to wait in line for a while, but got a break when a waiter came to us. I slipped him a fair-sized credit-chip, asking if one of the better tables was available. His manner brightened, and took us to one. A look at the other tables on the way suggested fine dining was a thing of the past over here, I saw little but salads and tofu, and even they looked of poor quality. I'm not sure, but it looked like most tofu was the Vulcan variety, which is seldom eaten by non-Vulcans aside from places like prisons, and reform schools, "It won't kill will you, but for a few hours, it'll make you wish it did." And there are rumors that when it goes bad, it can.

Our table at least is in better shape than the others, as the tablecloth actually has some square footage without stains. The menu had something to be desired as it offered vegetarian meals only, even phony meat was out due to the replicator ban, and many of the listed items were "X"ed out with red tape, the waiter saying they were out of those. The only fruit available was the "Denebian Gooseberry."

Looking over the menu, I decided upon a salad and a glass of fruit juice. Ah, the pleasures of fine dining in Neo-Berkley ... I'll never make fun of replicated food again.

K'Lynxyl has had a forced grin the whole time in the restaraunt, pretending to cheerfully order a bean dish. Considering the treatment of carnivores here, I'm giving serious thought to giving her the day off tonight and tomorrow and have Brundle take over for a while. Speaking of whom, he made a request for the Counselor position, which is open again as the woman who replaced Azzura has disappeared. I overheard some bickering between he and Dammers, but I'm not sure what it was about.

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